What’s under your feet (or how you get around) is as important as anything when it comes to the house. That’s why this fall, we collaborated with The Home Depot on an A-to-Z guide that will give you the confidence to make the flooring choices you’ll love. Read the manual from A to Z here.
Water finds its way across the floors of a home, whether it’s through tiptoes after a shower, a dripping colander, or rain-soaked galoshes.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to protect flooring from the wrath that water can trigger (mold, mildew and rot, oh yeah!), Regardless of the type of material underfoot. Whether you’re installing tile, laminate, vinyl, or hardwood, here are methods and products – all of which you can find at The Home Depot – that can give you peace of mind around water.
Tile is often seen in bathrooms, entryways, and locker rooms not only for its good looks and durability, but because it is often quite impenetrable to water, especially if it is tile. porcelain (for more information, visit letter p). The grout that fills in between tiles, however, is porous and susceptible to water damage – it needs a little extra help repelling moisture.
A waterproof membrane that is added between the substrate and the tile is the key to providing the strongest line of defense against damage to the floor in a tiled room, followed closely by treating your grout with a specialized grout sealant, which creates an impenetrable barrier against damage not only from water, but from any type of foaming shampoo (or other chemicals). Sealed grout should last 5-10 years without needing another coat, so think of it as an afternoon of work that will last almost as long as a new roof.
Laminate and vinyl
Laminate flooring companies pride themselves on creating products that resist stains, scratches, spills and other flooring disasters. And, as many happy customers will tell you, they certainly live up to the hype. When it comes to water damage, however, most laminate flooring is “water resistant” (not easily damaged by water), not completely waterproof.
This is a situation where product warranties, manufacturer protocol, and warranty vary widely from brand to brand, so it’s important to read the fine print. Much of the “water resistant” laminate can withstand daily household spills if the liquid is cleaned up immediately. Some companies recommend using a sealer around vulnerable areas (such as kitchen counters and dishwashers) to further prevent water damage. For the most part, however, the laminate will continue to warp and warp when faced with a major flooding incident – a broken pipe, a leaking washing machine – and that is not Warranty Covered: Something To Keep In Mind When Deciding Where To Place Laminate In Your Home.
And what about vinyl? Lots of engineering vinyl planks are already 100% waterproof, making them a good choice for bathrooms and basements. And if you’re looking for an extra layer of security (or if your subfloor requires it), consider installing a waterproof membrane or underlayment.
Hardwood is, without a doubt, the most delicate of all flooring materials when it comes to water, humidity or humidity. This is why applying a finish to hardwood floors is essential for both their longevity and their beauty over the years.
A polyurethane finish (i.e. oil or the water-based) is a smart option for protecting hardwood floors as it holds up well to puddles and life spills. Some engineered hardwoods are treated with a water resistant sealer by the manufacturer, so check the warranty before you buy for instructions on how to care for them.
And don’t forget to waterproof exterior wood floors! All decks, porches and seating areas should be treated with a exterior specific wood sealer to ensure that you can enjoy your oasis in your garden for years to come.